Wednesday, September 22, 2010
It really is amazing to watch a baby, sorry, toddler, learn and develop daily. Just last week he was tentatively taking a step or two before making use of his diaper cushioned butt. Now he's doing his best Frankenstein impression from one side of the living room to the other. Unless, of course, something gets in his way. He hasn't figured out how to get around things.
So a walking 10-month-old who also thinks it's hilarious when you say, no. And it is REALLY gut busting if you yell NO! I am learning that patience is truly a virtue.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
John's band, Landslide, had a gig last Saturday, so we went to that before heading down to Virginia. The gig was a block party in the lead singer's neighborhood. The kids and I camped out on a blanket to take in the music. Things got off to a tricky start when Leila pooped through her clothes and the front pack all the way to my shirt, but the rest of the evening did not go as messily. CJ even did some dancing!
The kids were in PJs and asleep as we took off around 10 PM. It made for a long night, but the lure of no traffic and sleeping kids made driving all night worth it. John ended up playing the hero when we came along a car on its side. Don't worry, the driver was just fine.
When John and I slide into bed around 4 AM all we could look forward to was napping on the beach the next day. It was not meant to be though. It was rainy and windy on Sunday. We all made a valiant attempt to stay on the beach, but it was not meant to be. Fortunately, Monday and Tuesday boded better.
Things took a small turn for the worst though on Wednesday when poor CJ came down with the cold that seem to make the rounds through several of our group's members. We made the most of it though by going to the visitors' center on the wildlife refuge and the pony center. Even sick, CJ enjoyed the touch pool and ponies.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
John, the masochist, gets up around 5 AM, I swear, walks and feeds our pack of dogs, then runs. I seriously don't understand. I admire but don't understand. Oh, I forgot. Sometime between 4 AM and 6 AM, CJ gets up. John, because I was up with Leila anywhere from 2 AM to 3 AM, brings him over to our room, gives him a bottle which, thank the sweet formula gods, puts him back to sleep. John leaves for work with a kiss and a have a good day, around 7 AM.
*Note: This is a day on my own. God bless them, many a day, my mom, sister or mother-in-law will show up at this ungodly hour to lend many much needed hands.
Somewhere between then and 8 AM or 9, CJ decides it is time to get up, and lets me know it, usually with a giggle and a pull of the hair. Then I spend some time dragging him away from the pillow barriers John made before he left while playing. Leila gets up somewhere in there, and the juggling of the breastfeeding and saving the crawler from tumbling off the bed begins. (If I am lucky I can get him onto the floor with his toys before I have to feed Little Miss.) If I have been good, I get in the shower before 10. This is my free time. Sort of. Usually Leila starts crying the moment I get my foot in the shower, so I clean myself as quickly as possible, then do some naked wet baby nourishing. Hey, I didn't say it was all gonna be pretty.
After everyone is dressed, I make three trips downstairs, one for each baby then one for all the of accouterments of the night, bottles, coolers, etc. These are the first trips of many of the day. This is called my workout. Once downstairs, CJ and I get some breakfast, then if it is not too ridiculously hot and humid, we attempt a walk. Thank goodness for strategically placed park benches because Leila can't seem to make it more than 20 minutes without needing a breast.
Then most of the day is the typical trying to get everyone fed, napping, changed, played, and not injured. Sometimes we even venture out of the house maybe all the way to Target, though, again, we usually have company, as Mom and Alex are addicted to my children and must get a fix at least every other day. Barbara's distance makes her a little more immune, but not much. She's here at least once a week.
Of course, I can't blame them. I am the worst addict.
John gets home around 6 or 6:30 depending on whether he makes the mistake of calling and getting a list of errands. Somehow we managed to get everyone fed and bathed and played with and read to and sung to before the Battle of Bedtime commences. If fighting sleep was an Olympic sport, CJ would be the next Michael Phelps. The boy's willpower to stay awake is something to behold. But even he has to collapse eventually. Leila, fortunately, is easier. More boobie and a bottle between 8 and 9, and she's good until 2 or 3. I know! Lucky, right?
And we are. Extremely lucky. Being a parent is the hardest job on the planet, but it is the most rewarding. No one event has ever changed my outlook on the world so quickly and assuredly. Even though there are other aspects to me, Mom is not infused in all of them. All of my relationships are more intense, even more meaningful because of my children. I didn't think I could be closer to my husband, my mother, my sister, my in-laws, my cousin, my aunt, yet now the love we all have for Coltrane and Leila binds us even more.
It's the coolest thing ever.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I finally got to really hold her around 9 AM. I think the picture speaks for itself.
Because, really, with these three as mine, hormones don't stand a chance!
Monday, June 7, 2010
Saturday night held an adventure too. John's band, Landslide, had their first gig at The Hanover Grille in Carlisle. Because I have a loving cousin who will babysit anytime, I got to go see them for a while. They rock. I had fun. I picked CJ up a little before midnight. When we got home, we were both pretty tired, but he wasn't quite ready to go back to sleep, so I made a bottle to help convince him. As I said, we are hanging out in the bed a lot, so that's where he finally crashed. I was too tired to take him to his crib, so I just piled pillows around the bed and crashed myself. Apparently, John got home around 2 AM, and I was so out that even the dogs barking did not wake me up. John put the baby in the crib, then went downstairs as he still was juiced up from the awesome performance. Something jolted me awake, and there was no baby next to me. I wasn't expecting John home for another hour. I started throwing blankets and pillows and praying he hadn't fallen under the bed or something. He was nowhere! Finally my brain clicked on enough to check the nursery, and there he was safe and sound. I was more awake but not awake enough to figure out what had happened. I was trying to decide if I had sleep-parented when John having heard me, came upstairs. It was a very odd moment. Still, better than baby under the bed.
As to the baby who is still a parasite, it looks like unless she decides differently, she will be coming out on the 14th via c-section as she is what they call Frank Breech or butt down. I still have hope of her turning, but she is a Batzer baby in a Baker body. There ain't much room for her to do anything in there. Those of you on Facebook and Twitter, keep an eye out for any further developments. We will update the blog ASAP, but FB and Twitter will be faster.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The other night, CJ started to show signs that it was nearly bedtime right around 8PM. We aim for 8, but there have been days that he just hasn't napped & he gets to bed earlier. There are days that he's wide awake at 8 and bedtime is closer to 9 or 10. This other night, he started showing the sleepy signs: rubbing his eyes, unexplained kicking (because he's learned that he can hold off sleep if he simply moves around). I took him upstairs.
I've explained before that mommy has turned into the book reader & I turned into the lullaby singer. I started singing through my favorites ("Golden Slumbers" & "Good Night" by the Beatles, "Beautiful Boy" by John Lennon, "Goodnight My Angel" by Billy Joel, "Baby Mine" from Dumbo, "Rainbow Connection" by Kermit the Frog), and then threw in a bunch of others ("Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty, "Drift Away" by Dobie Gray, "I'll Be There For You" by Bon Jovi", "Walk On the Ocean" by Toad the Wet Sprocket), and then started all over again. CJ was digging it . . . watching me, smiling, laughing . . . but after an hour of singing, he was nowhere closer to falling asleep than when we started. Toward the beginning of the second time through, my voice started to fail me, and Mr. Coltrane really didn't like the reduced volume, so I picked him up & continued on through. Finally, I put him back down & he started to seriously cry.
At this point, Mommy came upstairs, picked the kid up, & minutes later, he was asleep. The lesson, as always, is Mommy wins at bedtime.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesdays at the house are really packed. I get home from work sometime around 6, and we usually want to have a decent dinner together. This means cooking, which is no biggie, but I teach bass lessons at 7:30, and that does make everything compact.
Well, last night was really, really packed together . . . most of the dinner was made by 7:15, and I finished eating right as Jesse arrived for the lesson (we never got to the potatoes, which were still cooking at this time). In a perfect world, I would have just finished bathing CJ right before every-other lesson, but that couldn't happen this time. So, as I'm teaching away, Duffy took CJ up for his bath and read him a story.
Just as I was finishing up, Duffy came back down - no fussing from upstairs. I asked her how bedtime went & she admitted to crying. Very pregnant hormones and reading The Velveteen Rabbit apparently do not mix. I was told CJ simply looked confused as his mommy cried.
Of course, I'm not writing this to make fun of my pregnant wife (sure, I may tease her mercilessly, but it's always meant in fun), but to talk about The Velveteen Rabbit. Obviously, there is a big part of the root of Calvin and Hobbes in there. Did you have a Velveteen Rabbit? If so, what was it? Mine was Lion Kitty Cat (pictures coming this weekend). I went everywhere with Lion Kitty Cat. I remember making a big fuss at an airport, as I didn't want to part with my little friend to put him through the X-Ray machine. Of course, once he went through, he told me on the other side that it was fun & that he wanted to go through again. What about you? What did you have that you "made real with love"?
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I'm sure that all babies go through the same thing - but it really is amusing to watch a baby try to crawl forward, only to propel himself backward. Of course, I'm a little bit evil for finding it amusing, but it is.
I really hope some of CJ's teeth break through soon. The constant chewing on anything he holds on to (be it my finger or nose) is starting to hurt.
My schedule has been so busy the last couple of days that I've somehow avoided changing a poopy diaper. Something tells me that is going to change pretty shortly.
There really isn't anything more awesome than having your child fuss, look up at you, and smile. There really isn't anything more heartbreaking when a happy kid looks up at you & starts screaming.
It appears that I'm turning into the parent who sings, and Duffy is turning into the parent that reads. This works, though I need to increase the size of my lullaby repertoire.
I will be very happy when I'm no longer dealing with formula on a daily basis.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Mondays & Wednesdays are hard for me. They always start the same - sleep gets interrupted in some fashion (usually the dogs starting to stir or CJ starts fussing -- sometimes the alarm actually manages to chirp at 5:00, but that's rare). I get up, change the baby (assuming Duffy hasn't already done this), hand the baby do Duffy, and deal with the dogs. After walking & feeding the ungrateful little bastards, I push myself to work out, then I shower, then I dress, then I'm out the door.
My little bit of morning time with CJ on Mondays & Wednesdays is quite limited, and during it, neither of us actually awake during that shared time.
Of course, I then spend all day working. After work on Monday, it's a quick dinner and then symphony rehearsal. On Wednesdays, it's straight to band practice. I get back to the house only after CJ has gone to bed (and, to be honest, it's not long until I fall asleep, myself).
So last night was a bit of a treat - I get home around 9:30, walk in the door, make two bottles for overnight, head to the bedroom to find an awake little dude. We got to play for about half an hour, and it was very sweet. He had a real fascination with my nose. And I'm pretty sure that I need to keep the beard at least long enough so that the kid understands what facial hair is, though I wouldn't mind if he stopped trying to pluck whiskers off of my face.
Of course, in the course of playing, I placed him face down on the bed and proceeded to watch him pull himself closer to the edge (Cosmo had just jumped down, and apparently following the black dog was something that just had to be done). I won't say it was a "real crawl", but it was pretty darn close -- normally, when he tries to make himself go, he gets frustrated once he realizes he's moving in reverse, and this time he was certainly moving in the direction he intended to.
So, our hopes of not having to deal with a mobile child when Leila joins us may be futile.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I'll be the first to tell you that owning dogs doesn't prepare you, in the least, for parenthood. I mean, from the moment you can bring one home, a dog will be just fine if you leave him alone for an hour or two. Sure, you need to give them attention, and feed them, and look after their needs . . . but they're completely different scopes. The best parallel I'm coming up with is entering a knife fight with a basic knowledge of how to operate a butter knife. Sure, there may be some basics that remain consistent between the two (namely, don't stab yourself) - but you're better off saying "I know how to operate a butter knife" and "I know how to win a knife fight", just like you're better off saying "I know how to raise dogs" and "I know how to raise kids" (as opposed to the "I know how to raise dogs, and therefore I should know how to raise kids").
With that said, there is a maneuver that every dog owner knows -- how to pretend you're still sleeping early in the morning. Once you stir, a dog knows you're up, and that signals the beginning of the day -- there is no going back. You're getting out of bed, you're taking it for a walk, you're feeding it. But, sometimes a dog will think "it's the beginning of the day" and you can convince the dog to go back to sleep by simply staying still.
We employ the same strategy with CJ -- he's a kid, and he emits random noises throughout the night. Sometimes he'll let out a little cry. Sometimes a fart. Sometimes a laugh . . . if they're spaced well-enough apart, I employ the "I'm still sleeping, whatever distractions are out there will go back to sleep" maneuver. Nearly always, this maneuver directly leads to the child crying - but not today.
No, today he started laughing. For a good 10-15 minutes before my alarm went off (at the very evil time of 5AM because I'm a glutton for punishment), CJ sat in his crib, laughing. It wasn't constant laughter, but he would let out a happy little squeak every minute or two. When the evil alarm finally chimed in, I walked over, picked him up, changed his diaper (he had not soaked through), and got him over to mommy for feeding while I dealt with the dreaded puppies and their demands for exercise and food.
Now, if only every morning was as simple...
Monday, May 17, 2010
The little guy has been sleeping better & better. As a parent, this makes me incredibly happy. Little guy goes to sleep sometime between 8 & 10 and (typically) wakes up sometime between 4 & 6 (this would sound horrible to college John, but it's certainly not so bad, especially when present-day John goes to sleep sometime between 9 & 11). The problem with CJ falling sleeping half-decently is that his diapers simply don't hold his stuff for that amount of time. We've gone to the "overnight" diapers, but they're still not making it through the night. Whoever gets the pleasure of getting the crying CJ out of the crib usually gets the pleasure of stripping off his soaked clothing. Fortunately, CJ loves being naked, so this isn't an entirely unpleasant way to start the morning.
The other night, though, was a weird one. Friday into Saturday, CJ started fussing at about 1AM. "Ok, a little blip in the plan", said I, as I got him up to change him & feed him. Honestly, the timing here kind-of worked for me -- I mean, as he was only asleep for a relatively short amount of time, it would mean that there wouldn't be the typical overloaded diaper issue wouldn't be an issue. On top of that, I was half-awake when he started stirring.
So I get up, change him, and feed him. About 45 minutes later, a sleepy CJ is simply playing with the bottle, and I go to put him back down, but he starts crying, wanting to be held. I hold him. I sing to him. After nothing really works to make him want to go down for the night, I take him into bed with me -- nearly always, parent cuddles work.
This time, they didn't.
The "funny" thing about the incident is that he wasn't really fussy once he got into bed -- he was simply awake. Wide awake - as if I accidentally gave him a bottle full of espresso instead of formula. He was happy. He was laughing. He was trying to grab the puppies (who, in turn, were trying to avoid him and get back to sleep). For two & a half hours, he was simply awake.
Since that night, he's been sleeping like a champ - meaning that we've been changing the sheet on his crib like champs, too :-)
Friday, April 23, 2010
Of course along with the complete ceremony must come a proper party. We had everyone over to the house for a cookout. At one point, I did feel like I was in the middle of a feeding frenzy while everyone was helping themselves to food in the kitchen, but I think it was a great day. Everyone seemed to have a good time.
He is also sitting up on his own with only momentary imbalances. Rolling over seems to be a nocturnal activity because we find him all over the crib. John found him up on all fours the other morning. I have asked him to put off crawling until 2.0 is at least a month old, but I don't think CJ is listening.
2.0 is doing exactly what a fetus is supposed to do, get bigger and push Mommy's insides around a lot. We have another ultrasound on Monday, so hopefully we will know if we are indeed getting a Boy 2.0 or a Girl 1.0. Stay tuned!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Look for the next blog entry about mid April. It will feature the baptism highlights! And with Alex as godmother, you know there are going to be some good highlights.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
So bring on the nice weather because it is the only way I am getting any exercise.
John and I are taking a childbirth class. It's kind of an important step we missed the first time around. It's not the best presented class I have ever been in, but we are getting the information we need. I don't want to look like idiots in there after all.
CJ had his four month check up on the 8th. 16 lbs 7.5 ozs, 25.5" long and a healthy baby. This first year of grow can certainly take your breath away. I have outfits I want to get on him and take pictures because I know they are only going to fit this once. He really is a funny kid to watch and interactive with. He's almost sitting up and when tummy time doesn't make him freak out, he will roll over from his tummy to his back and from his back to his side. He is also starting to realize that he is in control of his own feet just like his hands! And he has a belly laugh that would make the Grinch's heart grow three more sizes. He makes every day so wonderful.
Monday, February 1, 2010
He is also really in control of his neck and loves to sit in the Bumbo chair we have thanks to the Layous.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
This morning, I had a particularly astute observation. I did my normal thing, up at 5:00, walk the dogs, feed the dogs, workout, shower, dress for work. As I was getting dressed for work, Duffy mentioned that Coltrane hadn't pooped the previous day -- now, he's been sniffly, sleeping a lot, and not eating as much as normal -- all things leading to the fact that he was likely fighting off a cold, and the lack of poop wasn't particularly worrisome.
So, I go to work, and get a text from Duffy as I'm in the middle of a meeting -- big poopie diaper. I realized that I had actually graduated to "father" when these were not the first thoughts that went through my head:
- I'm glad I didn't have to change that one
My first thought was "what did it look like - is he exhibiting signs of illness?". And, then I realized that I'm actually thinking like a father, & not just a guy who suddenly has a kid in his life.